Britain calls for clarity on differing war missing persons figures ” Ban hate Speech , but legislation should not erode freedom of expression”

by Zacki Jabbar

Britain has called for clarity on differing figures mentioned with regard to persons who had gone missing in Sri Lanka during the war between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE) and in the aftermath of the end of the conflict on May 19 , 2009.

A British High Commission delegation comprising Senior Research Analyst and Justice Consultant Paul Bentall , Regional Head of Stabilization Unit Eric Vincent and Political Officer Jovita Arulanantham during a recent meeting with Secretary to the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation V.Sivagnanasothy had while appreciating the steps taken by the Sri Lankan government on post war reconciliation efforts, pointed out that much more needed to done to achieve permanent peace and uplift the economic conditions of those who had been affected by a near three decade war, informed sources said.

Noting that the Maxwell Paranagama Commission, Darusman Report and other sources had mentioned differing figures on the number of persons who had gone missing during the war and in its immediate aftermath, the visiting delegation had emphasized the need to find out the truth.

Secretary Sivagnanasothy explained that his Ministry had already sought information on the exact number of persons reported to have gone missing from all the District Secretariats in the country.

Outlining the governments peace building and economic upliftment programs, Sivagnanasothy said that the measures included operationalising the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) and other related initiatives, integration friendly media and peace journalism, institutionalizing national integration and reconciliation into Sunday schools teaching programs, curriculum development initiatives incorporating virtues, values, ethical principles and comparative religious studies, 50,000 Housing Program, 66 High Priority Roads Project , economic empowerment and social infrastructure development under the Lagging Regions Programme and Reconciliation Scorecards and Barometers

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